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Native berry producing plants?

Posted by nature_david (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 19, 08 at 16:54

Hi everyone, I live in Massachusetts (Zone 6) and I want to fill my yard with some bushes/trees etc. that produce lots of berries. It doesn't really matter what season they produce berries in, but I'd like to have a list of ones that have the longest range/period of berry prodicing times.



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Native berry producing plants?

Some suggestions for some that are native in your area___


Ilex sp.
mountain holly
American holly
smooth winterberry

Berberis sp

Symphoricarpos sp.

Photinia(Aronia) sp
red, black & purple chokeberry

Crataegus sp.


Celastrus scandens (be sure it's the native, not the invasive oriental one!)

Herbaceous perennials__

Phytolacca sp.

Arisaema sp.
green dragon

I'm sure there are others found locally, that are unfamiliar to me.

Many species of birds depend upon the berries of native plants for winter, early spring food sources.
As the native habitat for these plants shrink, it's a great idea for us gardeners to try to provide some replacements!
Good luck!

RE: Native berry producing plants?

And don't forget all the native viburnums.

RE: Native berry producing plants?

You may also want to consider some of the Dogwood species:
Cornus florida - Flowering
Cornus mas - Cornelian
Cornus canadensis - Bunchberry

Other plants....

Mitchella repens - Partridgeberry (groundcover)

Actaea rubra -red baneberry
Actaea pachypoda - Doll's eyes, white baneberry
Actaea racemosa - Black baneberry

You might also check with your local County Extension Agent for recommendations.
If you have a nearby office of the Audubon Society amd/or the Wildlife Federation, they can also offer suggested plants to support wildlife.

Many thanks for your effort!

RE: Native berry producing plants?

I live in Mass too, and over the past 2 Springs have purchased 130 native tree and shrub seedlings from the New Hampshire state nursery. They have a decent selection of native species, and the seedlings are inexpensive and very healthy. Their stock changes a bit from year to year, try to order early if you're interested.

All the species I chose will produce either berries, hips, or nuts for the wildlife and some are edible for people too. None of them have flowered yet, can't wait till they start flowering.

Here is a link that might be useful: NH State Forest Nursery

RE: Native berry producing plants?

I got some Viburnum cassinoides from the NH State Nursery about 4 years ago. They came as small whips, 10 to a pack. They have grown and flourished and the ones in the sun have flowered and set fruit for the last 2 years now. The ones in the shade are a little smaller (and I may move them to a better location). All ten plants survived and thrived.

RE: Native berry producing plants?

You didn't say if you were looking for edible ones or not. Here's a few edible ones....

-Serviceberry. Attractive small tree/large bush. There are varieties known for their yummy fruit too.
-Blueberries. Need we say more?

While not trees or shrubs, there are many native rubus (raspberry family).


RE: Native berry producing plants?

Esh, glad to hear that your Virburnum are doing well. That is interesting that seedlings grown in a northerly climate such as Zone 4 are growing well in your yard zone 7 yard. I would not expect the reverse to be true! Do you have some growing in dense shade or partial shade? I've read that the amount of fruits are directly related to the amount of sun.

I gave away about 30 seedlings and the rest have been growing in holding beds for 1-2 years. Full sun is a rare commodity in this yard and so are being planted into shrub borders in an open woodland situation - partial sun.

Here's some of the species I got -

Cornus racemosa / Gray Dogwood - these are growing GREAT, most are approx 3 feet tall already and a couple are 4! Can't wait to see the white berries.

Cornus alternifolia / alternate leaf Dogwood - also growing great, the only Dogwood with alternate leaves, the growth habit and shape of leaves are very elegant on this tree

Myrica pennsylvanica / Northern bayberry - can't say enough good things about these seedlings, very rugged and drought tolerant, the foliage is gorgeous, stays semi evergreen thru winter, berries on female plants

Amelanchier spp. / Serviceberry, seedlings are rugged, most had very nice fall color ranging from orange-red, and my older tree make delicious berries!

Sambucus canadensis / Elderberry - amazing growth in first year!! 4-5 feet tall. They are taking over the poor Serviceberries. Gotta move Amelanchier and thin these ASAP.

Viburnum lentago / Nannyberry - growing great, I will train most of these to a single trunk. Makes edible purple berries.

Corylus americana / American hazelnut - drought and shade tolerant. Nice range of fall colors. Edible nuts, supposedly the squirrels love them!

Rosa virginiana / Virginia rose - these are not growing too well, and are being eaten by something. Will move next Spring. Makes nice pink flowers and rose hips.

RE: Native berry producing plants?

Hi terrene, the success of them in this climate does make you wonder, but V. cassinoides is native to North Georgia. Mine grow in partial shade, not dense shade. The more sun they get, the more flower buds they produce and therefore more berries (assuming good pollination).

I should get some of Cornus racemosa - the white berries would be an oddity for sure! That one is not native here, so I wonder how it would do.

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